Hearing Health and Your Heart

For many years researchers have been finding a link between heart disease and hearing loss.  In many cases one illness can indicate the possibility of the presence of the other.

Since cardiovascular disease claims more lives of Americans than any other cause or illness, it is so important to test your hearing regularly because hearing problems can be an early indication of heart disease.

Heart Disease Statistics

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is very prevalent in the United States. Consider the following facts:

  • Heart Disease (including Coronary Heart Disease, Hypertension, and Stroke) remains to be the No. 1 cause of death in the US.
  • Coronary heart disease accounts for 1 in 7 deaths in the US, killing over 360,000 people a year.
  • About 790,000 people in the US have heart attacks each year. Of those, about 114,000 will die.
  • The estimated annual incidence of heart attack in the US is 580,000 new attacks and 210,000 recurrent attacks. Average age at the first heart attack is 65.3 years for males and 71.8 years for females.
  • Approximately every 40 seconds, an American will have a heart attack.
  • From 2004 to 2014, the annual death rate attributable to coronary heart disease declined 35.5 percent – but the burden and risk factors remain alarmingly high.
  • The estimated direct and indirect cost of heart disease in 2012 to 2013 (average annual) was $199.6 billion.
  • Heart attacks ($11.5 billion) and Coronary Heart Disease ($10.4 billion) were 2 of the 10 most expensive hospital principal discharge diagnoses.
  • Between 2013 and 2030, medical costs of Coronary Heart Disease are projected to increase by about 100 percent.

Many of the risk factors for heart disease are preventable, so in addition to checking on your hearing health to monitor for the connection between heart health and hearing health, you can prevent heart disease by not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, eating healthy, staying physically active, and watching for warning signs like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

What is the Hearing Health and Heart Health Connection?

There is a great deal of ongoing studies and investigations as to the exact cause between hearing health and heart health. Many scientists and doctors believe that the connection has to do with blood flow. Since cardiovascular and heart diseases are diseases of the heart and blood vessels and the inner ear is extremely sensitive to blood flow, that is where the link is. When your blood flow to your inner ear is not as strong as it should be, then the inner ear and other more sensitive parts of your body are more susceptible to be affected negatively. Your ears may know there is a problem with your heart before you have any other symptoms. Therefore, taking care of your hearing health can also mean that you are protecting your heart health as well.

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